The renaissance
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The Renaissance. Aim: How did society change during the Renaissance in Europe?. Vocabulary. Renaissance – rebirth; a period of time in Europe characterized by a revival in art/culture

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The renaissance

The Renaissance

Aim: How did society change during the Renaissance in Europe?


  • Renaissance – rebirth; a period of time in Europe characterized by a revival in art/culture

  • Humanism – an intellectual movement that focused on human potential and achievements (humanities = history, literature, philosophy)

  • Vernacular – the language spoken (mother tongue) in a country or region

  • Printing Press – a machine used for printing text from type or plates

After the dark middle ages
After the dark Middle Ages…

  • During the late Middle Ages, Europeans were dying from wars and the plague

  • Many were questioning the Church – resented it for causing so much suffering

  • Those who survived wanted to celebrate life and the human spirit

1300 the renaissance begins
1300: The Renaissance begins

  • A period of time in which there was an explosion of creativity in art, writing and philosophy

  • Renaissance = rebirth; revival of art and learning and a return to Greek and Roman times

  • Began in Italy

  • Spread through


Why italy
Why Italy?

  • Thriving cities

    • Wealthy due to trade

    • Sites of cultural diffusion

  • Wealthy merchant class

    • Due to trade, merchants became very rich and had lots of money to spend on cultural things like education, art

    • Families like the Medici’s poured tons of money into it

  • Classical history of Greece and Rome

    • Used for inspiration in rebuilding culture/society

New values
New Values

  • During the Renaissance, people focused on human achievements – started studying literature, art, philosophy and history

  • People began to enjoy life – spent money on material luxuries like parties, clothes, food, wine

  • People were more interested in the “here and now”, less worried about pleasing God


  • Enormous amounts of money was spent on art during this time

  • Rich church leaders and families donated their money to pay for art, became “patrons of the arts” (financially supporting the artists)

  • Had their portraits painted, made them look important

Renaissance men and women
Renaissance men and women

  • Renaissance men were expected to be educated, study art and excel at everything cultural

    • Expected to create art, sing, dance, play music and write poetry

  • Women were expected to be well-read, like art, be charming

    • Expected to inspire art, not create it

    • They had little influence on politics

Famous artists
Famous Artists

  • New trend: featuring the individual in a realistic way – showing their true selves

  • Emphasis on the human body

  • Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael


  • Sculptor, poet, architect and painter

  • Famous for his realistic style in depicting the human body

  • Accomplishments: marble statue of David, painting the dome of St. Peter’s cathedral and ceiling paintings on the Sistine Chapel

Leonardo da vinci
Leonardo da Vinci

  • Painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist

  • Very interested in the details of how things worked – like veins, muscles

  • Most famous for painting the Last Supper and the Mona Lisa

Renaissance authors
Renaissance authors

  • Renaissance writers wrote in their native language (Italian) instead of the traditional language of Latin

    • This is called writing in the vernacular

  • They focused on describing their character’s personalities

  • Famous authors: Petrarch (poet), Boccaccio (Decameron), Machiavelli (The Prince)

  • Role of the printing press
    Role of the printing press

    • The Chinese invented the idea of using blocks with carved letters on them to print on paper

    • This was very useful for the Europeans, because they only had 26 letters – easy!

    • In 1455, German craftsman, Johann Gutenberg, improved the printing press

      • The Bible became the first full-sized book typed with movable type

      • Made books cheap and easy to mass produce

      • This made it easier to spread ideas

    Legacy of the renaissance
    Legacy of the Renaissance

    • Increased interest in human experience and art

    • People questioned the church, religion, laws and political structures/practices

    • Authors use vernacular languages in books

    • Printing press made it easier for ideas, maps, discoveries to spread


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